How are whales rescued in real life? What effects does marine debris have on marine species? Find out in this game for 2-4 players!
Whale Rescuers teaches players about one of the greatest threats to whales in today’s world: entanglement. Players work together to rescue a whale that has been entangled in abandoned fishing gear before the time runs out using all the tools they can, while collecting valuable scientific data to help other whales!
This game is cooperative, meaning that all players work together against the clock, and everyone loses or wins together. This makes communication key, and players must make hard decisions with their fellow players on how to best rescue the whale! One player takes on the role of the Researcher, collecting scientific data and samples, while all other players take on the role of Rescuers, working to free the whale together with the Researcher.
The “rope” that the whale is entangled in, shown by yarn on your paper whale, can be cut once per round using upgraded action cards or by combining cards with other players. Players can upgrade their tools throughout the game by purchasing action cards with debris cards, giving them the choice between upgrading or collaborating each round. Which path will you choose?
Use this game as an introduction to a marine science unit, to discuss human impacts on the ocean, and to inspire learners to think big about the difference they can make in the natural world when they work together.
Number of Players: 2-4
Play Time: 30-45 minutes
Grade Levels: Grades 5-8 suggested
Suggested Follow-Up Questions for Discussion and/or Presentation:
Have you ever seen trash or abandoned debris on the beach or near a river?
How can you help your community clean up trash so that it doesn’t end up in the ocean?
What other animals might be affected by trash and debris in the ocean?
Laminate pages before cutting for longer lasting games.
You will need one 18-inch length of yarn, string, twine, or similar to wrap around the whale’s tail before starting the game, and also one small object (such as an eraser or paperclip) to mark your place on the board.